June 19, 2017

The Marketing Litmus Test: Part 1

In this series of emails, we’ll look at a series of questions that can help determine whether you are pursuing the right marketing strategies.

The right marketing strategies for you, that is…

Question 1 in the Marketing Litmus Test is about the most neglected of marketing topics: audience.

1. In selecting a particular marketing strategy, do you have a clear idea of who you are trying to reach? Do you understand how they use the medium?

Most businesses arrange their marketing activities in a herd mentality. Everyone else is on Google, so we should be on Google. Somebody at BNI said LinkedIn really works, so we need to be on LinkedIn…


The question is, what if the herd is wrong? Or at best, misguided?

If you think you already know everything about your market, you’re wrong. To reliably answer Litmus Test No.1 you have to turn off your computer. Leave the office. Go out and find potential customers you can speak to face to face, or over Skype.

Many people get blinded by the wizardry of marketing tools and skim over the part where you have to speak to real humans.

When I’m speaking to a potential customer, things I usually want to know include:

  • What’s their story up until this point? Have they worked with other providers?
  • How educated are they about the thing you’re selling?
  • What would they say is the main thing holding them back?

(Note: be careful not to correct their terminology at any point. The terminology they use is very important, even if it’s wrong.)

  • What would a typical day from their diary look like? What things hold up or frustrate them?
  • How do they use the marketing medium you’re thinking of using? Are they active in any LinkedIn groups? Are they in any Facebook groups? Do they open their own mail?

You need to remember that each person you speak to is only an individual snapshot, not an accurate representation of your entire audience. Still, if you have enough of these conversations you’ll notice commonalities between the conversations.

Question 1 in the Marketing Litmus Test is hands down the most important question to fret over. Do not pass go, collect £200, or pursue any marketing strategy until you can answer it with a confident ‘yes’.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.